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  • Writer's pictureJulie Gile

My Best Advice to My Younger Self

woman looking out a window

If I could sit down with my younger self, a budding entrepreneur and young mother with dreams in her eyes and a lifetime of experiences ahead, there are a few essential pieces of advice I would impart. These words have resonated with me through the years and shaped the person I've become today.

Life's journey is a rollercoaster, but it's not about the destination… It's about the ride.

“You can have it all, just not all at the same time”

Social media’s curated experience puts an unrealistic sheen on what people choose to share. That mom who is cooking gourmet meals every night? You don’t see the messy kitchen or full plates that the kids toss in the trash. That business owner with glowing online reviews? You don’t see the long, late hours or the penny-pinching agony every month. That couple with Insta-worthy date nights and lovey-dovey captions? You don’t see the petty fights or the strain that external “perfection” is placing on their relationship.

We’re fed the lie that we must excel in every aspect of our lives simultaneously. But the truth is, life is a delicate balance of priorities and seasons. Sometimes, it's your career that takes the front seat, and other times, it's your personal life. I remind myself that learning to embrace each phase should come with grace, and you can’t push too many things through at the same time.

“Don’t sweat the small stuff (because it’s all small stuff)”

I used to agonize over the smallest details in an effort to please everyone. Tiny mistakes really bothered me, and I beat myself up if I felt like I was failing in any area - even when no one else was holding me to an impossibly high standard.

In the grand tapestry of life, many of the worries that consume us are fleeting and insignificant. It's easy to get bogged down by the minutiae, but I wish I could tell my younger self to focus on the bigger picture. Save your energy for the moments that truly matter, and let go of the rest.

“Spend more time in nature, because wonder feeds your soul”

There’s such wisdom and beauty to be discovered outside. Nature has an incredible ability to feed our souls and inspire untapped creativity. I’ve found that when I’m surrounded by the wonders of the natural world, it's easier to find clarity and perspective.

Yes, life is busy, but not too busy to get outdoors. Take a walk in the woods, sit by a lake, cultivate a garden, run with your dog, wander, or simply gaze at the stars… In these moments it's possible to listen to the most valuable voice – our own. And if you are not listening to your own voice then you are listening to other people’s.

“In the chaos, you will find the very best version of yourself”

Life has a way of throwing unexpected challenges our way, right when we think we have it all figured out. Parenthood is the perfect example - as soon as we get a handle on a particular stage, our kids catapult into the next one. Love and grief also cause chaos in their own ways, striking us when we least expect it and overwhelming us when they come out of nowhere.

While these moments can be incredibly tough, they also have the power to transform us into stronger, more resilient individuals. I would tell my younger self to ride the wave, for it is in the midst of turmoil that you'll uncover your true strength and perseverance.

Life is beautiful, life is messy, and life is unpredictable. To dear younger self: Cherish the highs and learn from the lows. Ride the wave and ask for a snorkel when you need one. Embrace the ebb and flow of life's seasons, for they are what shape you and define you. In the end, it's not about having it all; it's about living a life filled with purpose, love, and the wisdom to navigate the chaos with grace. While I in no way have this all figured out, this message is a true north for me, especially in my murkiest times.

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